Ethiopian Airlines tragedy: Pilots 'followed procedure' before fatal crash

The accident aircraft Boeing 737 MAX 8 ET-AVJ of Ethiopian Airlines

Boeing plans to cut its monthly 737 aircraft production by almost 20 per cent as it works to manage the grounding of its MAX aircraft in the wake of two deadly crashes, CEO Dennis Muilenburg has said.

He said investigators are going to be focused far more on the interaction between software and pilots rather than mechanical issues in future.

"Although there was three heavy automatic and un-commanded nose dives from the flight control system, in today's category and today's terminology it looks like the MCAS was activated", Gebremariam said.

Chicago-based Boeing, which is also the target of lawsuits over the October 29 Indonesia crash, has been working on a software fix and new training guidelines for the Max.

Boeing said it would not reduce jobs at the new production rate and will work to minimize the financial impact.

"Sadly, these two entirely preventable airline crashes demonstrate that the FAA is ill-equipped to oversee the aerospace industry and will downplay serious hazards and safety risks to the public rather than sound the alarm about safety concerns, problems, issues and hazards that pose substantial, probable, and/or foreseeable risks to human life", attorneys for Stumo said in the lawsuit. The 737 MAX 8 and 9 planes have been grounded for weeks. Thursday's revelations raise questions about repeated assertions by Boeing and USA regulators that pilots could regain control in some emergencies by following steps that include turning off an anti-stall system designed specifically for the Max, known by its acronym, MCAS.

The report revealed that the pilots of the March 10 crash performed all the procedures recommended by Boeing when the plane started to nose dive but weren't able to save it.

The crash in Ethiopia resulted in the worldwide grounding of the 737 Max, the revamped version of a plane model that accounts for a third of Boeing's operating profit.

While it's not clear from the report exactly what steps the pilots took, their struggles to keep the plane climbing apparently led them to switch power back on to the trim system. The plane made four nose dives before it crashed into the Java Sea.

Shortly after liftoff, the value of the left angle of attack sensor deviated from the right one and reached 74.5 degrees while the right angle of attack sensor value was 15.3 degrees; then after; the stick shaker activated and remained active until near the end of the flight.

The 29-year-old captain had more than 8000 flight hours overall, including more than 1400 on older 737s, the report said.

According to Boeing, the new software update for the 737 MAX 7 aircraft lets the pilot have the ability to override MCAS and manually control the aircraft, ensuring that the pilot always has the upper hand.

Mr Muilenburg, in his statement, noted that full details of what happened in the two accidents will be issued by the government authorities in the final reports very soon.

"The report does not address information about unreliable airspeed procedures which should be considered because they had erratic airspeed", said Greg Feith, a former senior air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.

The chief pilot's father, Dr Getachew Tessema, told the BBC the apology was "too little, too late".

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